10-19-07 Dr. Laura Berman in studio......Rich Hein/Sun-Times
Updated: April 14, 2014 4:42PM
Do you enjoy sexting?
A new study has found that numerous people in committed relationships sext with their partners, but that many of them do so when they are “not in the mood.” The researchers found that many people reported sexting when they were not aroused as a way to avoid an argument or as a way to please their partner. This was true for both men and women. Fifty-five percent of women say that they have engaged in “consensual but unwanted sexting,” and the same is true for 48 percent of men.
What can account for this behavior?
Whether it takes place over the phone or in real life, there are different degrees of sexual power in relationships. Some people tend to always take on the role of the aggressor and the initiator, while others tend to be more passive and obliging, even when they would rather say “Not tonight, honey.”
The good news is that wanting to please your partner is a crucial part of a fulfilling sexual relationship. Tuning into your partner’s sexual desires and being able to meet their sexual fantasies is important, especially in a committed relationship in which you are each other’s only sexual outlet. And, many people find that engaging in foreplay (even when they aren’t immediately in the mood) can sometimes ignite arousal and get them in the mood after all.
However, it’s also important to make sure that your consent comes from a full, empowered “yes.” When you say “yes” out of fear of what might happen if you say no (whether it is your partner getting his feelings hurt or seeking sexual fulfillment elsewhere), you aren’t honoring your own needs and you aren’t going to be able enjoy sex in a powerful and uninhibited way.
Most importantly, if adults can’t learn how to withstand pressure and speak up about their boundaries in relationships, how can we teach our teenagers to do the same?